Requiring income and asset limits in Ontario could do more harm than good
Published April 23, 2021
CHF Canada has responded to the Government of Ontario’s recent consultation on changes to Ontario Regulation 367/11. The changes would require service managers to set income and asset limits for households on rent-geared-to-income (RGI) assistance. Our submission highlights that there is a significant risk that these types of restrictions could do more harm than good. Service managers already had the option of creating local income and asset rules if they felt it was appropriate.
CHF Canada noted that for some households, such as low-income seniors, poorly constructed limits could have a long-term impact and unnecessarily make their lives more precarious. Especially considering that the wait time for an affordable home in some regions can take well over a decade.
Income and asset limits also have the potential to roll back important gains made under the province’s RGI simplification system for existing households. RGI simplification streamlined the income testing system for HSA providers basing it off of the income tax system, creating a clearer system for members and reducing the administrative burden for housing providers.
CHF Canada recommended that, if the province is going to move forward with requiring income and asset limits, then the following rules should be put in place:
- The asset and income limits should be developed locally and in consultation with housing providers, tenants, those on the wait list and the public.
- Asset and income limits should not apply to existing RGI households.
- Registered funds should not be included in asset limits.
- The province should pay particular attention to ensure that Special Priority Program (SPP) households are not negatively impacted.
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